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Go West Travel Journal, Day #4 10/15/17 TN

Go West Travel Journal, Day #4 10/15/17 TN
Left Thompson Station, TN and finally got on I-40, which would be taking us across the country, almost all the way to the Grand Canyon. It really seemed like, we were doing this thing now, getting out of familiar territory for Happy. She’d never been this far West.

Going home. For a lot of people that means a lot of different things. For me, it’s difficult, and not something, I talk about much. My mother died of Leukemia at age 53, when I was 26 and pregnant with my first child. To me, Memphis takes me back to the horrific two weeks prior to my mother’s death. I hadn’t been to Memphis in 11yrs. Wiley had never been. We always meet my dad elsewhere to get together.

I was really excited to see my dad and share our journey with him. It made my heart happy that he was a part of this experience, seeing how he and my mom are the source of my passion for camping and the outdoors. All my fondest childhood memories are in tents, campers, or on the trail. We started as babies camping in tents, graduated to a Class “C”, then a Class “A”, before my parents became too High Maintenance in the 80’s, sold the RV, and bought a beach house. It happens.

We arrived in Memphis on my niece, Scarlet’s 4th birthday. It was perfect timing really, a celebration of life and her precocious little self, made it easier for me to be home. Scarlet is too cute for words! We had a ball celebrating her birthday at my dad’s house with lots of family and neighbors.

My sister, Peyton, had made tons of food for the party. She packed up a bunch of left overs and sent them with us, as we headed out the next morning. Nigel and Pippa saw some deer on the far side of my dad’s pond, right as we were about to leave. They came unhinged! So exciting!

I squeezed my dad, and we said our goodbyes. I was looking forward to driving through Memphis and downtown on I-40, so Wiley could see it. So many memories from a life, long ago, that now seems like, someone else lived it or I saw it in a movie. I left home for college at 18, a couple of years shy of 30 yrs ago. I’m a Carolina girl now. I’ve lived there for all the time, since I left Memphis, with the exception of a 2yr stint in Dallas.

We drove through town, and my heart beat faster, as I saw the skyline of downtown, the Pyramid, and the bridge over the Mississippi. As a teen with a car, I spent so much time downtown and on that river bank. I was flooded with memories and emotion, then we drove over the bridge into West Memphis, and it was all behind me, again. So long Memphis.

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Go West Travel Journal, Day #3 10/14/17 NGA-TN

Go West Travel Journal, Day #3 10/14/17 NGA-TN
Drove through some beautiful country from the GA mountains, into the TN mountains, and down into the rolling hills outside Nashville to the little suburb of Thompson Station, where Beth, my best friend since first grade in Memphis, lives with her husband and two sons.

Beth and fam live in a really neat traditional neighborhood development in a cute zero lot line house. Beth’s husband, Chip is a master woodworker and has created such a fabulous outdoor room, worthy of a magazine cover. We hung out there with the puppies prior to going to dinner. Pippa was immediately fixed on their small outdoor drink fridge. She spent an hour scratching, pawing, and whining at the fridge. Garrett, Beth’s son, finally, went over and lifted the corner of the fridge. As soon as he did, a little mouse shot out, and ran without Pippa even seeing, right by Nigel, who pounced shook, and killed the mouse, before Pippa even knew what happened. She had worked so hard, and Nigel got all the glory. It was sad for Pippa, and of course, for the mouse. After a few minutes of the puppies fighting over it, we disposed of the mouse. Pippa went back to the fridge, hoping to unearth another mouse to no avail.

Beth’s mom, my “AuntJean”, has moved from Memphis, into Beth’s neighborhood just down the street. We picked her up and went for dinner at a charming little restaurant in old town Thompson Station called Circa Grill, which was divine. Afterward, we went to Jean’s house for a tour. I couldn’t wait to share it with Wiley. Her home is a museum. She’s a master loom weaver and arts collector. I loved seeing all her art and having her tell the stories of each piece. It was fascinating. I so admire artists with their passion and admiration for others work, that they’ve collected. It’s as beautiful, as the art itself.

I took advantage of Beth’s nice home and showered the next morning before hitting the road. Beth prepared a fabulous breakfast before sending us on our way. No matter how much time goes by, or how little we see one another, when we do, we always pick right up where we left off, as if we were never apart. I’m grateful for my sister, Beth and our 41yr friendship. Love Friends that become family.

After a sad goodbye, we hopped in Happy, headed for my hometown of Memphis to stay the night at my dad’s. Going home!